By Bob Blochinger
If you’re an employee who has questions on a procedure or process, there are Facebook groups and pages where you can post questions and gain answers; direct answers in real time. There are also opportunities to meet fellow installers in person, especially while attending trade shows (TISE/Surfaces, Coverings, CFI, etc.). By starting conversations within these groups, you can also make new friends.
Most importantly, when you arrive at a jobsite and a questionable issue presents itself, you can take a photo and send it to the office to better understand, discuss and solve the issue at hand. Also, by recording the issue, you now have a visual piece of information for future discussion and invoicing support.
Many manufacturers use social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat) to promote current news and information on their products, maintenance practices and installation recommendations. Questions on a procedure? Visit the manufacturer’s website, and download the information needed to complete the task within warranty guidelines.
As for what to post, consider the beautiful location (the view of today’s jobsite), an intricate/detailed layout or pattern, great seaming, floor prep performed, new time-saving technique, a good-looking installation.
Additionally, you can share completed installations by uploading images of the project. It’s good practice to also state the condition under which the installation was performed, as well as any challenges you may have faced. Be sure to include your company name, but not specific information about the site (address, client name) — only non-confidential details.
Also, by belonging to Facebook groups or chat groups, not only can you promote your business by uploading completed job photos, but you can join groups in your geographical service area, the type of products you install and the type of jobs you work on (commercial, residential, bathrooms, kitchens, etc.). As a flooring contractor for many years, I emphasized my area of expertise, which was private yachts and clubs. Prior to Facebook, I promoted my business with printed brochures and lots of gas money.
Conversely, don’t overuse social media. It doesn’t replace valuable work time, so keep your posting in balance with your daily duties. Remember: You are paid by your employer to perform a job skill. Your smartphone will not install the flooring by itself, it’s only a tool within your reach that needs to be handled carefully — just like a trowel with the proper-sized notch or a utility knife! Texting and cutting is not a good idea!
Conversely, don’t overuse social media. It doesn’t replace valuable work time, so keep your posting in balance with your daily duties.
Whether you’re a self-employed flooring contractor/installer with two or 22 workers, keep in mind that each social media platform has its own place and value within your scope of presence on the Internet.
As for what to post, consider the beautiful location (the view of today’s jobsite), an intricate/detailed layout or pattern, great seaming, floor prep performed, new time-saving technique, a good-looking installation, or any number of topics presented in a positive manner. This form of public relations is a tool with limitless outcome. Who knows where your comments or photos will end up?
Years ago, I had submitted a photo of an extremely difficult job layout. The carpet pattern included squares and tri-colored lines. The layout was to be in a herringbone pattern for a large multi-function room. The photo I took featured installers performing power stretching, which was later used as a trade publication’s cover photo! Since then, I became a firm believer in promoting great workmanship as you never know where your helpful statement or installation-related photo will end up.
Social media is a great venue to promote your skills through jobsite photos or by advising fellow installers by commenting on posts. You’ll need to keep the language tame as you never know who’s reading your post, especially potential customers!